Christine Michailides

Character Chris
Gender: None Binary
Race: Taiwanese Neurospicy Gnome
Age: 40
Class: Sorcerer: Wild Magic
Alter-Ego A cat with frequent zoomies
Background: Cherish Guild Leader

Abilities:

  • Excitability
  • Calmness
  • Silliness
  • Chattiness
  • Head in the Cloud Imagination

Skill Proficiencies:

+10 Charisma with neurodivergent kids
-10 Charisma with neurotypical adults
+10 Investigation around neurodivergence
– 4 Sensory Constitution (bright light, loud sound,etc)
– 5 Navigation (Zero sense of direction, no left and right)
-10 Survival (can’t outrun zombies)

Alignment and Personality:

Moral Alignment: Chaotic Good

Ideal: There are no bad people. Instead, people can experience difficulties and challenges that prevents them from doing well.

Bonds: Strong protective instincts

Flaws: When excited, often make quick decisions that becomes a problem later.  Also, cannot read a room. Allergic to the word “banana”. 

 

Interests:

Video Games: any creative and strategy games. Secretly excellent at third-person combat games. Currently playing Balder’s Game and Minecraft. 

Dungeons and Dragons

Aquarium Keeping

Manga and anime

Neurodivergency and psychology hyperfocus

 

Feats and Specialties

  • Therapeutic Gaming
  • Play Therapy
  • Counselling
  • Role Playing
  • Morbid Unicorn
  • Professional swearing

Achievements:

  • Minesweeper Champions 2001 (3:00 second)
  • Queen of hypermobile thumb wars
  • VIP of “Existential Crisis” Frequent Visitor Program

Information for Parents and Caregivers:

Christine experienced a lot of challenges during her counselling education.  She fidgeted too much, she asked too infuriating questions, and she couldn’t stop “showing off” (information dumping).  After endless advocacy and confrontation with the school administration, she made a promise to herself that when she became a counsellor, she would counsel differently and would not make the same ableist assumptions other counsellors make. 

She experienced a lot of imposter syndrome and self-doubt at the beginning of her career.  People questioned her credentials and scoffed when she advocate against the behavioural and pathological models for autism.  No one taught about counselling autistic folks based on the social model, so she had to seek information in unlikely places, experiment with unique approach based on her own lived experience and the lived experiences of other autistic folks, and learn from other great minds in the field who shared the same perspective.  Then in 2021, neurodiversity-affirmative discourse became mainstream.   As most therapists and consultants were making efforts to catch up, Christine was already ahead in knowledge, experience, and specialized expertise, and new scientific research validates what she has long known was the truth: autistic people are different but perfectly fine.  Christine is now a leader, advocate, educator and consultant for other service providers in the field of neurodiversity-affirming approach.  She currently has a monopoly in providing highly advanced psychoeducational support and family consultation within the intersection of gender identity, sexual orientation, and cultural, and racial identity and can do so in Mandarin.  Other service providers seek second opinions or in-depth consults on topics on complex issues such as aggression, self-harm, ARFID, PDA, and communication differences for autistic clients.

Christine is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor with a specialization in neurodivergent children and families.  Her knowledge did not come purely from the books or from the standardized academic path.  Her work is the result of her lived experience personally and as a parent of neurodivergent children and the lived experience and collective wisdom of autistic community members and other affirming therapists who struggled alongside her. Her craft is deeply attuned with the “differently sensitive differently skilled” approach to improve the quality of life for her clients and empower them to grow in authentic and meaningful ways. The unique services at Cherish Clinic are a showcase of Christine’s concerns for the unaddressed and unspoken challenges, service gaps, and experience of marginalization experienced by neurodivergent people and modelling the process of identifying these challenges and facilitate an ecosystem in which neurodivergent people can thrive. 

“Differently sensitive, Differently skilled”
“No formula, nor do I ‘fix’ clients.”
“There aren’t a specific clinical approach designed by and for neurodivergent people. Until then, I will continue to prioritize my clients before any standardized clinical intervention and approaches”. Here are some of the clinical approaches that may be used with very heavy modification:

– Expressive Arts Therapy
– Experiential Therapy
– Collaborative Proactive Solution. by Dr. Greene
– Gestalt Therapy
– Narrative Therapy
– Sensory Integration Therapy

Realistically, clients are getting:
For parents: “Here is what some autistic adult said about what that feels like….. And here is what some autistic people have come up as a solution.”
For kids: ” *snort* ME TOOO!!! When I was you age…”

Christine has a collectivist cultural origin, so when the child is in therapy,  their entire family is figuratively in the room as well.  Family is a package deal.  According to the social model of disability and neurodivergence, the responsibility of change belongs to the adults in the child’s environment.  Christine only accepts clients whose parents are neurodivergent-affirming and approaches the counselling process with open-mindedness with readiness to shift and adapt away from compliance, top-down approaches and behavioural modifications.

“Single married parent” is a tragically common occurrence in the family consultation field.  Christine is acutely aware of this implicit imbalance of parenting mental and logistical burdens between spouses.  Of course, parents do well, when they can.  Christine specializes in adjusting, adapting, and accommodating in any way possible to make her process accessible for the involvement of “the other parent.”

In consultation sessions, Christine acts as a human translator and helps parents understand their children’s behaviour and experiences through the lens of the neurodivergent lived experience and psychoeducation.